KARACHI– President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Prof. Nam Han Cho declared ‘Westernization’ as the major cause of diabetes epidemic in Asian countries, including Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference at the sidelines of 4th International Diabetes and Ramadan Conference, Prof. Nam Han Cho stated that, previously Asians used to live a simple life with a large consumption of vegetables, but now their meat intake has increased and are living a mechanized life. He added that this issue is prevalent, both in the Asia Pacific as well as Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Sedentary lifestyle and western food were said to be the root-causes of diabetes.
IDF President, who is an Asian himself from South Korea, further informed that Asians produce lesser insulin as compared to people of other races and so when they stick to a sedentary lifestyle desist from their traditional rigorous living conditions, they tend to develop diabetes faster than people belonging to other continents of the world.
“Of the 425 million diabetics in the entire world, as much as 65% are Asians, which is quite alarming. These Asians also include millions of Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and other parts of the world”, he informed.
Millions of Muslims all around the globe, fast for 30 days during the month of Ramadan and face alot of issues while fasting but, The Almighty tells people to keep their bodies healthy so they need to make themselves aware of such ailments, so they could fast safely and know how to deal in cases of health emergencies.
Eminent Pakistani Diabetologist, Prof. Samad Shera added that, diabetes prevalence, that was only 11% during 1994 in Pakistan, has increased to 26 % in 2017, while number of pre-diabetics has also increased tremendously.
He aid that joint efforts are required to deal with this epidemic of diabetes in Pakistan, and people should choose an active lifestyle to avoid diabetes. Regarding fasting, he advised people to rise 30-40 minutes before the Sehri timings and walk before eating, as it would keep their blood sugar controlled and lower the chances of hypoglycemia.
Chairman IDF Mena Region Prof. Abdul Basit said that they are holding Diabetes and Ramadan Conference to educate millions of Muslims who fast, as there are no data-based, scientific guidelines available for the Muslims.
“As many as 148 million Muslims are diabetics as per very conservative estimates and majority of these Muslims would be keeping fast in the coming month of Ramadan. We need scientific guidelines for these diabetics so that they could safely observe the fasting”, he maintained.
Chairman, 4th International Diabetes and Ramadan Conference Prof. Yakoob Ahmedani said that these annual conferences are held to prepare scientific guidelines and recommendations for over 148 million Muslims, who suffer from diabetes, so they can continue to fast in the coming month of Ramadan.
South African Diabetologist Prof. Mohammed A.K Omer, blamed the Western diet and “Cocacolonization” as the biggest cause of spread of diabetes in the world. He urged Muslims to adopt simpler lifestyles and healthier food choices.
Prof. Adel El Sayed from Egypt added that there are millions of Muslims, both in Egypt and Pakistan, suffering from diabetics and such conferences would help in creating awareness amongst millions of Muslims around the globe.